Cultural Competence In Social Work Essay

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Social work is a connection between client and the social worker which requires empathy and a deep understanding of feelings, intentions and thoughts. This understanding is necessary to evaluate the client’s needs and to develop an appropriate strategy for providing assistance (Lundberg 2010).
Cultural Competence
A major challenge which social workers may face is that many times indigenous clients feel neglected and discriminated by a non-indigenous social worker. The lack of knowledge of Australian Indigenous history and culture is an important factor which creates hurdle in providing assistance to the indigenous clients. Norms, beliefs and ideas incorporated within a culture make communication and interaction easier for people from the same
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Often such discriminatory incidents discourage other people from the community too from soliciting help from the health care professionals. Many times aboriginal patients have shared their personal experiences where they felt unwanted and disrespected (Askew et al. 2014). This is one of the prime reasons why it is difficult for indigenous people to open up and build a relationship of trust with the service provider. It poses as a big challenge for social work practice as social workers might find it difficult to develop a relationship with a client who comes from a disadvantaged community with pessimistic attitude towards the services.
Language Barrier
Sometimes, indigenous clients especially the ones living in remote areas face problems in understanding the language used by non-indigenous social workers. Basel Al-Sheikh Hussein has described The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as the speakers of different languages think and perceive reality in different ways and that each language has its own world view (Hussein & Al-Sheikh 2012). The hypothesis is relevant in the context as to why sometimes non-indigenous social workers have difficulties in understanding indigenous clients.
Other Challenges: Remoteness & Delay in Seeking

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